Team AckoApr 3, 2023
With an ageing population and a focus on digitalisation across workplaces, the experiences and career journeys of older individuals are often overlooked. Age can be seen as a disadvantage in the workplace and older individuals may be unsure of their rights when it comes to finding new roles. However, with the right skills and knowledge, and with the right support, it’s possible to make successful transitions in one’s career and to prove yourself a valuable asset to any prospective employer. Here, we look at how to make successful career changes surrounding ageing in the workplace, and how to effect a successful transition later in life.
Ageing in the workplace can bring with it a number of unique challenges that individuals may need to consider. Structural issues such as a lack of flexibility for older workers, having limited access to upskilling and limited access to new roles can be common experiences for some. Additionally, preconceptions about older workers, such as having out of date skills, holding ‘traditional’ views and being slower than younger colleagues can all be potential issues when it comes to career transitions.
The first step when dealing with the challenges of ageing in the workplace is to understand your rights and the laws that protect you. Age discrimination is illegal, and employers must take into consideration any reasonable adjustments that may need to be made to enable you to stay in your job. Legislation such as the Equality Act (2010) can provide support and guidance to ensure you are treated fairly and not disadvantaged due to your age.
Before making any transitions, it is important to conduct a 360-degree evaluation of your skill set and experiences. By looking at your current assets and understanding the environment you are operating in, you can identify areas where you would benefit from additional support and training. Additionally, this process can help to highlight the positives that you can bring to a new role, such as your experience and wisdom, as well as the ability to mentor others.
Once you have identified your strengths, you can begin to look for new roles and work out where to apply your unique set of skills. Keeping up to date with industry developments, such as digitalisation, emerging trends and using social media can help you to identify new and emerging roles that you may be suited to. Additionally, maximise the opportunities available to you such as attending networking events, and actively engaging with industry professionals. Painting a picture of how you can contribute to a role and how your skill set can benefit the organisation can be extremely helpful when attempting to transition later in life.
In order to continue to develop your skill set, there are a number of existing resources that can provide you with the support you need. This can range from free online courses such as Google Digital Garage, to attending local free seminars and workshops. Additionally, many local Learning and Employability centres may provide computer courses and one-to-one support to help you develop your skills.
When making transitions in a career, gaining new experiences is essential. Voluntary work can help to highlight your skills and demonstrate to prospective employers your commitment, reliability and passion. Additionally, look for opportunities for you to get involved with projects and activities, as well as gain references for future roles.
Balancing a full-time job alongside a transition can be difficult and can take a toll on your health and wellbeing. Taking measures to ensure your mental and physical health is in check is essential and can help you to stay motivated and energised. Seeking support can be one of the best investments you make, so utilising your local GPs, social media communities, helplines and mental health organisations can help you to stay healthy throughout your transition.
Trying to stay on top of transitioning later in life can bring a lot of stress and anxiety. Setting time frames for weekly goals and targets can help you to stay on track and avoid feeling overwhelmed. Additionally, it can be easy to compare yourself to others in the industry, but it’s important to understand and appreciate your own journey and progress.
Having the support of colleagues and employers can be immensely beneficial when making successful transitions later in life. Networking with other professionals and participating in forums or groups can provide you with invaluable advice and experiences. Additionally, employers can be a great source of support, and many may offer alternative working options, for example flexible hours, remote working and job sharing, in order to make your transition smoother.
When making successful transitions later in life, it is important to find a role that is the right fit for you. Consider the culture of the organisation and the type of work you will be expected to do, and think about how it aligns with your values and goals. Additionally, look for organisations that promote diversity and inclusion and who create an environment that puts values you relate to first.
Creating a positive mindset is essential in order to transition later in life. Self-doubt and negative thinking can set you back, so understanding where you want to be and visualising the path to get there can be extremely helpful. Also, setting yourself small, achievable targets on a weekly basis and looking back at how far you’ve come can be beneficial in boosting your motivation and self-belief.
When transitioning in a career later in life, it’s crucial to set yourself small achievable targets in order to make the most of the opportunities available to you. Meeting new people, networking and staying curious will help to open up a range of avenues for you to explore, and taking time for yourself to stay energised will enable you to stay on track and motivated throughout the process.
Though there can be a number of challenges when it comes to ageing in the workplace, there are also a number of benefits. Having life experience is an important asset to many organisations, and having unique perspectives due to differing backgrounds and experiences can be highly valued. Additionally, older individuals will often have a deep knowledge of their chosen industry and a large pool of contacts that can be beneficial to many organisations.
Ageing in the workplace can bring with it a number of considerations and challenges, but with the right skills and knowledge, it is possible to make successful transitions in one’s career. Ensuring you understand your legal rights, undertaking a 360-degree evaluation of your skillset, maximising and utilising existing resources, and having the right support are all important factors to consider. By taking the right steps, it is possible to transition later in life and prove yourself as a valuable asset to any prospective employer.
A: Challenges with ageing in the workplace can include a lack of flexibility, limited access to upskilling, and preconceptions about older workers.
A: Understanding and familiarising yourself with your rights as an older worker can help to ensure that you are not discriminated against due to your age.
A: Staying motivated during career transition can involve setting yourself small goals and targets, staying curious, networking and utilising the support of those around you. Additionally, looking back at how far you’ve come in order to celebrate your achievements can be extremely beneficial.
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